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Punch Clock — Set up rules for deviations from the schedule
Punch Clock — Set up rules for deviations from the schedule

Set up rules to automate the processing of punch times that deviate from the scheduled shifts.

Saad Saeed avatar
Written by Saad Saeed
Updated over a week ago

🎯 For admins with access to all departments in Planday.

Before you set up deviation rules for Punch Clock, you must first set up Punch Clock via app or web.

What are Punch Clock deviation rules?

Punch Clock deviation rules are utilised to assign a specific Shift type to deviations from the scheduled time. These rules can be particularly beneficial if you want to:

  • Record employee overtime by assigning a Shift type that covers hours worked beyond the scheduled shift. You can link this Shift type to the TOIL account to transfer the overtime hours.

  • Record employee undertime for each shift worked by assigning a Shift type to cover the time missing compared to the scheduled hours.

  • Record lateness.

The deviations will show as suggestions along the rest of the shift in the Punch Clock approval to be approved by an admin or schedule manager.

How to create a deviation rule

Please note: Using Rounding rules in your Punch Clock may conflict with applying deviation rules. You may need to turn them off or configure Rounding rules to start only with carefully calculated durations.

  • If you're using Deviation rules, it won't be possible to approve Punch Clock entries on the Planday app.

To begin with, create a deviation rule by going to Settings > Punch Clock > Advanced > Deviations from scheduled time > Create.

Configure a deviation type

After pressing Create, you can choose in which scenarios the deviation rule occurs and what should then happen. You can make changes later if the initial setup does not suit your scheduling needs.

Name - This will be used as the name in the deviation rules list.

Deviation type - The different deviation types describe different scenarios where you can define what should happen when the scenario occurs. Click on Show more below Deviation type to learn more.

Note: Rules concerning shift length always have the highest priority compared to other types. When a rule related to the shift length has been matched with a shift, all other rules will be ignored for this shift.

Final shift type - Defines the Shift type that will be applied to the new shift made by the deviation. For example, if an employee punches out too late, it can generate overtime according to a deviation rule. See the example below for this use case.

Minimum length - Defines the minimum duration for the deviation before it is handled by this rule. 0 means that the rule is applied on all deviations. In other words, if you put a value other than 0 here, the deviation has to be minimum that value before it's handled by this rule. This means that if you put 15, the deviation has to be minimum 15 minutes before the rule kicks in. If it's under 15, then the shift type will be Normal.

Start of shift - Defines when this rule is starting in a deviation, as time in minute. 0 means that the rule applies on all deviations. If you put a value here, for example 15 minutes, choose the deviation type Arrives early and choose the final shift type "Overtime", then the shift type will be applied on the period between the time the employee punches in and the 15 minutes before the shift starts.

Length - This is the maximum amount of minutes the deviation can handle. For example, if a rule is set so that the maximum deviation is 120 minutes (2 hours), and the final shift type chosen is "Overtime", it means that the employees can only get 2 hours overtime when the shift length is exceeded.

Depending on your requirements, you can limit your Deviation rules to only apply under certain conditions. You can set them using the following settings. By default, the rule applies to All shifts and employees.

Shift types - Apply the rule only to specific Shift types.

Departments - Apply the deviation rule only to certain Departments.

Employee groups - Limit the deviation to only certain groups of employees by selecting an Employee group.

Employee types - Apply the rule only to some Employee types.

Note: If you have an employee who is part of the department and the employee group but is not part of the employee type chosen in the filters, then the rule won't apply to them.

Remember to press Save and continue the same process for all desired Deviation rules you create.

See an example with deviation rule applied to track lateness

Track lateness

To show how deviation rules work in practice, here is an example with the type Arrives late.

To create the rule, go to Settings > Punch Clock > Advanced > Deviations from scheduled time > Create.


⬆️ This deviation type is used when you want to track and flag an employee’s lateness. In this example, the shift type Late is applied automatically between the time when the shift starts and the time when the employee clocks in. The minimum length is set to 0, which means that the rule will kick in as soon as the employee clocks in 1 minute late.

How is this deviation rule applied in the Punch Clock approval page and in the Schedule?

In the example below, the employee has a shift from 12:00-15:00. She clocks in 22 minutes after the start of the shift and clocks out at the end of the scheduled shift.

Under Schedule > Punch Clock, you can see how the shift is split if the deviation rule is used. The system has applied the shift type “Late” to the 22 minutes’ delay, dividing the shift into 2. The time after the employee clocks in is counted as normal working hours. You can choose whether you want to use the deviation rule or not by selecting between Yes or No, before approving the hours for pay.


When the shift is approved, you can see the split shift, as shown below. ⬇️


You can then run a Shift type statistics report under Reports > Shift type statistics to view the frequency of employees being late within a chosen period. Alternatively, you can generate a Schedule statistics report under Reports > Schedule statistics reports to see specifically how many hours an employee has been late within a selected period of time.

See an example with a deviation rule to record overtime (+ or -)

Record overtime (+ or -)

You can use Punch Clock deviation rules to record overtime and undertime and transfer the hours automatically to a TOIL account. To learn more about this and see examples in practise, click on How is TOIL handled with the deviation rules.

See related articles:

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